|Portrayed by:||Kylie Minogue|
|First appearance:||17 April 1986|
|Last appearance:||26 July 1988|
|Created by:||Reg Watson|
Charlene was portrayed as a feisty, quick tempered and outspoken tomboy. She had a difficult relationship with her mother and did not like being patronised. Minogue thought viewers liked the character as she was an average Australian teenager. Reinforcing her tomboyish image, Charlene trained as a mechanic and she often wore khaki overalls and baggy sweatshirts. Her relationship with Scott Robinson (Jason Donovan) was central to many of her storylines. They became a popular couple with viewers and the relationship helped boost ratings for Neighbours. Despite breaking up several times during their first 12 months together, the couple stayed together and their relationship eventually culminated in a wedding during "Episode 523", which was first broadcast on 1 July 1987.
Backstory and Characterization Edit
In her fictional backstory, Charlene was born in as the youngest child of Fred (Nick Waters) and Madge Mitchell (Anne Charleston), and sister of Henry (Craig McLachlan). When she was a teenager, Charlene drank alcohol, fell pregnant to her first boyfriend and had an abortion. In their 1989 book The Neighbours Factfile', Neil Wallis and Dave Hogan described Charlene's life as "one long series of scrapes and scraps". After her parents divorced, Charlene remained living with her father, but when he felt he was incapable of looking after her, Charlene followed her mother to Erinsborough. Charlene was a self-described , who preferred to be known by her nickname 'Lenny'. She was known for her quick temper and her "heart of gold". She always stuck up for those who were considered the underdog. In keeping with her tomboyish nature, Charlene trained as a mechanic after leaving school and got an apprenticeship with Rob Lewis (Ernie Bourne). The character's style often consisted of khaki overalls, baggy sweatshirts and her hair set in a perm.
Relationship with Scott Robinson Edit
Charlene's first scenes were with Scot Robinson (Jason Donovan ). He thought she was trying to break into the Ramsay house and confronted her, which resulted in Charlene punching him.
Scott and Charlene had problems during their first 12 months together and they broke up several times. One such break-up occurred after Charlene's mother thought she should date other boys, while Scott had to repeat his final year of school without her. Scott was initially unsure how to win Charlene back, but after speaking with his grandmother, Helen Daniels (Anne Haddy), who mentioned that her husband gave her a friendship ring, Scott went out and bought one for Charlene. While they were enjoying a barbecue at Charlene's caravan by Lassiter's lake, the couple argued about Charlene spending time with Warren Murphy (Ben Mendelsohn) and Scott decided to leave. When Charlene started to go after Scott, she found herself trapped by a fire that had been accidentally started by Greg Davis (Alex Papps). Greg had been storing petrol under the caravan and spilled it as he was removing the cans, causing the petrol to head towards the still burning barbecue. Scott rescued "a terrified" Charlene from the flames, but an explosion threw them both to the ground and Charlene was knocked unconscious.
Donovan commented that Scott loved Charlene, so when he saw she was in danger, he forgot to think about himself and he just went in to rescue her. Donovan added that Scott was "devastated" when he saw Charlene had been injured. At the hospital, Scott gave Charlene the friendship ring and declared that they would live together. Minogue told Bourne that Charlene was flattered by the gift, while Donovan stated that it proved that they loved each other and were not going to break up again. Minogue agreed with Donovan, saying "There is that underlying love whether they are together or not." After learning about the couple's plans to move in together, their friends and neighbours expressed their shock at how serious the couple had become. When Charlene showed the ring to Daphne Clarke (Elaine Smith) and told her how she and Scott wanted to live together, Daphne was taken back. Scott's friend Mike Young (Guy Pearce) also voiced his opposition, but Scott was determined that no one would stop them from moving in together. Bourne noted that Daphne's shock at the couple's plans was "the start of a major controversy, splitting apart the inhabitants of Ramsay Street. Neither family approved of Scott and Charlene's plan to move in together, but when Scott learned his father was only 18 when he got married, Scott found the solution to their problem and asked Charlene to marry him. After getting over her initial shock, Madge gave the couple her blessing to get married. Scott and Charlene were married during "Episode 523". After returning from their honeymoon, Scott and Charlene moved in with Madge and Henry, and they struggled financially. Just three months after their wedding, Scott was the first to cheat when he kissed Jane Harris (Annie Jones), while she helped him study for his . After Jane confessed to Charlene, she threw Scott out and refused to talk to him. In a bid to reunite the couple, Jane told Charlene that she would steal Scott away from her unless she did something about it. The couple soon reunited. The following year, Charlene had a brief affair with her driving instructor Steve Fisher (Michael Pope).
Other Storylines Edit
One evening in July 1986, Charlene came home with a newborn baby and shocked her mother by claiming that he was her son. Charlene told Madge a story, so convincing that Madge believed she had become a grandmother. However, Charlene soon revealed that the baby was actually her half-brother Sam (Thomas Hamston; Scott Wealands). She explained to Madge that she had been helping to care for him, after his mother Susan (Gloria Ajenstat), turned to Charlene for help. Susan had had an affair with Charlene's father Fred, until he threw her out. Charlene knew Madge would not be happy looking after another woman's child, so she claimed he was her son.
In the same year, Charlene acted as a backing singer for Scott and Mike Young's band. Scott and Mike entered a demo tape into a song competition, and the judges, Molly Meldrum and Brian Hanson (Jon Finlayson), sought out Charlene as they were impressed with her vocal ability. Molly and Brian invited Charlene to their music studio to record some tracks, but she soon realises that she is not interested in singing and wants to complete her HSC instead. Scott also apologised to Charlene for being jealous of her talent.